Voucher Measure Would Allow Thousands Of Students To Attend Private Schools

February 11, 2014

A state House committee Monday passed legislation that would allow hundreds of thousands of children to attend private and parochial schools at public expense.

The idea first surfaced four years ago, with a measure allowing special needs students to get vouchers for an education outside the public schools. It has been expanded to give students attending D- or F-rated schools empowerment scholarships and would be extended to any student eligible for a free or reduced lunch under this measure.

State Rep. Bruce Wheeler says extremist elements are at work in Arizona trying to destroy the public school system.

That brought an angry response from State Rep. Debbie Lesko.

“The intent of my bill is definitely not to hurt or destroy the public school system and does nothing to that effect,” Lesko said. “In fact, my own children go to the traditional public school system.”

But Lesko says there is no reason for the state to fund public schools for students who no longer go there.